Production of the AMX (American Motors EXperimental) started in the fall of 1967 at American Motors' Kenosha, WI plant. The AMC AMX debuted on Feb. 24, 1968 as a 1968-1/2 model, based on the Javelin but with a foot chopped out of the wheelbase. The AMX wheelbase is only 97 inches, with an overall length of 177.22 in., a width of 71.57 in. and a height of 51.73 in. It weighed in at just over 3,000 lbs. The AMX was the only American steel bodied two seater of its time. The starting factory price for a 1968 AMX was $3,245.00 and resulted in only 6,725 AMXs being built.
Before being introduced to the public at the Chicago Auto Show on February 23, 1968, the AMX broke 106 National and International speed records. Craig Breedlove took the AMX to Bonneville and ran an official 189 mph, with an unofficial run of over 200 mph (see video at left). To celebrate this feat, 52 special red, white, and blue "Craig Breedlove" editions were built. These race-ready cars were sold as the SS/AMX (Super Stock/AMX), and they are the most rare of all AMX automobiles. AMC equipped these cars with a high performance 390 engine, Doug Thorley after market headers, Hurst 4 speed linkage, a dual crossram intake for two 4 barrel carburetors, ram air, a rear spoiler, traction bars, a real roll cage and many more heavy duty racing parts. The car was not street legal. Take a look and a listen to the video at left below Breedlove's record video and you'll hear why - that was a mean sound even for wide-open 1968.
Standard equipment on the AMX included reclining bucket seats, carpeting, woodgrain interior trim, E70-14 Goodyear polyglas tires, a four-speed manual transmission, and a heavy-duty suspension. Only V-8's were available, and those were all equipped with Carter four-barrels and dual exhausts. The baseline 290 ci produced 225 hp at 4700 rpm, the optional 343 ci produced 280 hp and the top-of-the-line 390 was rated at 315 hp with 425 ft.lbs of torque. (note: all AMC V-8s are smallblocks - the 290, 343, 360 and 390 engines are all based on the same block.) The 390 was capable of speeds close to 130 mph. Also there were Group 19 dealer-installed factory performance parts; Aluminum intake manifolds, hi-lift cams, roller rockers, Detroit Locker rear-ends with gears as steep as 5.00: 1, side pipes, and rear wheel disc brake kits, to name a few. The AMX could be had with a wide range of options, including the popular "Go Package", which included a 343 or 390 V-8, power front discs, redline tires, Twin Grip rear axle, and racing stripes. Plus the Airless Spare - a spare tire that takes up little trunk space because it doesn't inflate until you need it.
AMC also offered a number of luxury items. Air conditioning, automatic tranmission, tilt steering, power steering or quick-ratio manual steering, AM, AM-FM or AM 8 track stereo, tinted windows, remote outside mirror and power disc brakes were on the list of options. Reclining bucket seats were standard.